MLB has convened in Nashville. We await developments. While we wait, a few words about this and that.
From Comcast Sportsnet Chicago:
- Patrick Mooney: Can Cubs land a big-name outfielder at the winter meetings? "I wouldn’t rule anything out or anything in," team president Theo Epstein said.
From CBS Chicago:
- Bruce Levine: Cubs, Rays talking trade. A more-than-likely match between the two teams centers around pitching that the Cubs would like to acquire and controllable position players that the Rays seek.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jesse Rogers: Trevor Cahill returns, will get stretched out in the spring. Unless Cahill edges someone out in the rotation, he’ll pick up innings anywhere from the fifth through the eighth.
- Rogers: Winter meetings status: Cubs looking to deal. All signs point to the Cubs completing at least one trade in the near future...
- Carrie Muskat: Cubs eye new targets after bolstering rotation. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein was able to check off item No. 1 on his offseason checklist before the Winter Meetings began. Now, it's time to focus on 1A.
- Hot Stove Tracker. You know what it's for.
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Mark Gonzales: Another move suits Starlin Castro. Castro is spending this offseason in the Tampa area and might purchase a home in the future, according to agent Paul Kinzer. He's in the best shape of his career.
- Gonzales: Cubs' John Lackey still revered by the Angels. Lackey’s big-game reputation still resonates with his original team.
- Cubs' Willson Contreras and Jeimer Candelario, White Sox' Adam Engels named to AFL top prospects team. The players were selected by the AFL's managers and coaches.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Gordon Wittenmeyer: Cubs still have questions they hope to answer at winter meetings. Theo Epstein says they’re looking equally through trade and free agent avenues to address needs and help put a 97-win wild-card team in position to win a division title next year.
- Matthew Schwerha: Remembering John Lackey, Jon Lester, and their chicken and beer. Although Lackey and Lester won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2013, one of the more memorable moments they had as teammates in Boston was when they were found to have a fondness for beer, chicken and video games.
From the Daily Herald:
- Bruce Miles: Cubs president Epstein looking for pitching, outfield depth this winter. The Cubs still have a lot to get done as they look to improve on a 97-win season and a trip to the National League championship series.
From Cubs Den:
- John Arguello: Cubs rumors: Baez, Braves, Dexter Fowler. Things are certainly heating up on the trade front. Many tweets bolster speculation.
From Bleacher Nation:
- Brett Taylor: Cubs still looking to get an arm from the Braves? The trick there is finding the right trade fit.
- Taylor: Cubs and Rays discussing trade involving Javier Baez and pitching. Talks are just talks, and talks happen all the time this time of year, but this is probably a good bit more serious than your typical fly-by-night rumor.
From Cubs Insider:
- Evan Altman: On the perception of John Lackey as an insufferable jerk and why I like the Cubs signing him. It isn’t just about his abrasive personality scouring some of the shine off this team. There's more to it.
- Michael Canter: A quick needs analysis for each NL Central team. Starts off with the Cubs - there’s still work to be done: Another starting pitcher. Bullpen help. Contact hitting. Defensive upgrades.
- SB Nation: Beyond the Box Score: Shawn Brody: John Lackey is a great fit for the Chicago Cubs. They should go together like peas and carrots. Good data.
- MLB Trade Rumors: Mark Polishuk: NL Central notes: Castro, Miguel Montero, Scott Kazmir, Neil Walker, Jonathan Lucroy. Brief discussions grounded in Gordon Wittenmeyer article.
- Cubbies Crib: Nicholas D. Blazek: Will the team trade for James Shields? Jim Bowden thinks so. He doesn't have anything to support that, but he thinks so anyway.
- Sporting News: Alec Brzezinski: MLB Trade Rumors 2016: Cubs actively seeking one of MLB's best closers. Based on Jerry Crasnick tweet, with some detail.
- Risky Business: Chicago Cubs defy history in slotting 37-year-old for rotation. The senior athlete’s spirit might still be very willing, but the flesh often grows weaker – and very suddenly.
- Ernie Banks jersey sale sets new record. Banks jerseys are considered by collectors to be among the rarest of those worn by the 26 players in Major League Baseball history who hit 500 or more home runs during their career.
Food for thought:
- The "omics" of space travel. The human body is incredibly complex. Every part of us—from our bones to our blood cells—is subject to a host of chemical reactions and molecular interactions that, without our conscious effort, keep us alive.
But what happens to these processes when we leave the planet?
- A trillion trees to the rescue. "It is interesting to know the number of trees in the world," people have told us, "but why is it useful?"
- Want better meetings? Serve brain food. Not necessarily fish. Food will have a tremendous impact on a meeting’s productivity and outcome. Tyrosine is what you want.